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St. Louis Cardinals starting rotation is the best in the majors

The Major League Baseball season is just a month and a half old, but the St. Louis Cardinals pitching staff is proving to be one of the best in the majors.

The Cardinals starting rotation is one of the best assembled in more than 25 years as far as stats are concerned thus far in the season.

The Cardinals won two out of three over the weekend against the Colorado Rockies to raise their season record to 23-13.

The Cardinals are in first place in the National League Central two games in front of second place Cincinnati and two a half games in front of third place Pittsburgh.

The Cardinals lost Sunday’s final game of the series, but on Friday and Saturday the team’s starting pitchers showed just how tough the rotation is this season. Shelby Miller and fellow starter Adam Wainwright each shut out the Rockies with back to back one-hit gems.

This against a Rockies offense that entered the series on Friday leading the NL in runs scored with 169. The bats for the Rockies have been some of the best in the NL this season.

As of now, the starting rotation for the Cardinals is doing things not since in the league in many years. Miller and Wainwright tied a major league record when they retired 40 straight opposing hitters in the back to back shutouts.

The starting rotation of five pitchers has proved to be nearly unstoppable over the first quarter of the season.
Over the last 25 years, the top five pitching rotations in baseball have included the Los Angeles Dodgers of 1989. That rotation ended the season with a 3.02 ERA and included the likes of Orel Hershiser who had an ERA of 2.36 following up his Cy Young Award from the previous season.

The New York Mets of 1988 ended their season with an ERA of just 2.97. That season the Mets won the NL East by 15 games over Pittsburgh. Three pitchers for the Mets that season won at least 17 games.

The Atlanta Braves of 1992 had an ERA of 2.95 and included lefty Tom Glavine who won 20 games. The Philadelphia Phillies of 2011 had a team pitching ERA of 2.86. Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee led that starting rotation along with Cole Hamels. All three ended up in the top 5 in the voting for the Cy Young award that season.

Nevertheless, the current St. Louis starting rotation has an ERA of just 2.11 thus far. Three starters have already won 5 games apiece, one has 4 wins and the fifth has 2 wins. Two of the five starters have ERAs of below two and none are higher than 2.72. Going into Sunday’s game the starters had only allowed 10 home runs and Jake Westbrook has not given up a home run in six starts thus far.

The five starters are Shelby Miller who is 5-2, Jake Westbrook 2-1, Jaime Garcia 4-2, Adam Wainwright 5-2 and Lance Lynn 5-1

The season is still young, but the long hard summer will be easier for the Cardinals if their starting rotation can continue on their present pace or at least close to it.

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